For four years in this newspaper, we have laid out in our columns (see especially June 14, 2004; August 13, 2004; June 21, 2006; and August 15, 2007) a growing and troubling trend: the undermining of Black police officers in this city.
It is oftentimes said that the proof is in the pudding. The April 20, 2008 Strib piece reinforces our columns (although that was not the Strib’s intent). Under Mayor Rybak and under Police Chief Tim Dolan, the Black police officers are becoming an endangered group of pubic servants.
The so-called investigation and allegations against former inspector, now Lt. Lee Edwards and 29-year veteran Mike Roberts are a direct outgrowth of an unchecked culture of racism, discrimination, and bias, which poisons every fiber of the police department and, by extension, the City of Minneapolis.
This column and the Black Police Officers Association have cried out for an examination of racial targeting and cleansing. In our August 15, 2007 column, we predicted “the bleaching” of the MPD.
The April 24, 2008 Strib story continues to amplify the unchecked bleaching, or racial cleaning, of the African American officers and other officers of color.
Reasonable and intelligent people would conclude that this kind of racial cleansing is unhealthy for the city, unhealthy for relationships, unhealthy for racial harmony of the mutual populations, and unhealthy for the image of the city on both the domestic and international stages.
And yet it is clear that our mayor, city council and, much more importantly, our corporate community continue to demonstrate little or no interest in stopping this purge, this racial cleaning, this targeting of Black police officers in the MPD.
Maybe now many will have a better understanding of the need of five Black officers of command rank to file their lawsuit on Dec 3, 2007. They were trying to send a signal, appealing to the better side of those in positions of responsibility and power, to act in a reasonable and responsible manner.
However, apparently in the case of the targeting of Black police officers in the city of Minneapolis, what constitutes reason and prudence is to target, to eliminate, to hurt and to shatter the careers of these very fine men and women. It is truly a dark day for the image of liberalism when we are faced with the silence of liberal institutions as they both endorse and encourage the targeting and disappearing of the African American officers in the Minneapolis Police Department.
As of midnight, 4-24-08: 25 shot, four dead, in 25 days (and still little press coverage). There were 36 shootings in Chicago the weekend of April 19, with nine dead. Is that ahead for us?